Lufthansa Group‘s newly appointed Senior Director Sales Southern & Eastern Africa, Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea, René Koinzack, is optimistic on the future of the airline in Africa, including southern and East Africa.
Speaking at a press breakfast in Johannesburg this week Koinzack said the group had seen an increase of 15% in passengers on the South African routes over the prior year. He added that premium traffic on the South African routes was increasing.
“Lufthansa has the shortest connections into Europe and good connections to North America,” said Koinzack.
An exciting development for both the inbound and outbound markets will be when the airline deepens its presence in South Africa with a second city pair – flights between Johannesburg and Munich, which were last operated 19 years ago.
This route will begin in the coming European summer, on a date still to be announced – although some industry pundits have speculated that the kick-off date will be June 3.
The thrice-weekly service will depart Munich on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Flights from Johannesburg will depart Johannesburg on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays – and, said Koinzack, these would be daytime flights.
He said Munich was a five-star airport with excellent evening connections into Europe for the flights incoming from JNB.
At the breakfast, Lufthansa Group’s Senior Vice President Global Markets & Stations, Frank Naeve, brought news of the Allegris all-new seating on Lufthansa and SWISS on their long-haul routes. The two airlines have invested €2,5 billion (R51,1bn) in the project and the entire interior, from first class, through business and premium economy to economy class will all be renewed. Aside from the very private Allegris First Class Suites, there will be the offer of a First-Class Suite Plus – generous beds for two people, along with caviar service.
The business-class cabin will offer seven different types of seats:
- Suite (first row, high partitions and doors). Two adjacent Business Suites can become a Double Suite.
- Extra-long bed (2.2m).
- Privacy seat (by a window).
- Privacy seat with baby (bassinet next to seat).
- Extra space seat (single seat with extended space on both sides).
- Double suite (two seats that convert into a double bed).
- Classic (forward-facing, all with aisle access).
In the economy-class cabin, there are three seat types:
- Leg-room Seat (7cm extra leg-room).
- Classic seat.
- Free neighbour seat – (vacant adjacent seat guaranteed).
Naeve said the Lufthansa Group was committed to first class in the South African market, which has proved it is a strong market in the premium classes.